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Australia's Wesfarmers says Coles' total sales in Q1 up 5%

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Comparable store sales jumped 5.1 per cent over the period for Coles' supermarkets division, compared with a 0.3 per cent growth a year ago.

[BENGALURU] Australian retail conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd said on Monday that total first-quarter sales at its soon-to-be-spun-off supermarket division, Coles, grew 5 per cent, helped by a promotional campaign and investments in its flybuys loyalty programme.

Sales came in at A$9.84 billion (S$9.64 billion) for the three months to Sept 30, the company said in a statement. It did not give prior guidance and analysts do not give quarterly forecasts for the company.

Comparable store sales jumped 5.1 per cent over the period for Coles' supermarkets division, compared with a 0.3 per cent growth a year ago.

Meanwhile, comparable sales growth at the liquor division was 1.3 per cent, a touch lower than last year.

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Managing director Rob Scott said in a statement that the results reflected "continued good momentum" at Coles.

It was Wesfarmers' last trading update about the Australian No. 2 grocery chain before it proceeds with a plan to spin it off next month and free up capital for higher-margin investments.

Coles has struggled for nearly a decade to take customers from larger supermarket rival Woolworths Group Ltd as both companies stare down new cut-price competition from the likes of ALDI Inc and Costco Wholesale Corp.

REUTERS